Fashionably late to the Madison Craft Beer Week guide is Forequarter, the Underground Food Collective restaurant on Johnson Street. Main bar dude Hastings Cameron tells Team Irony or Mayo (read: me) that the event he's most excited about is a farmhouse ale tasting menu planned for Tuesday, May 7.
"It's essentially a brand-agnostic beer dinner that we'll be doing during regular dinner service," he says. "[Head chef] Mark Schieber put together a tasting menu conceived around farmhouse ales by North American producers -- a bière de garde, a bretted saison. The outlier will be a quad paired with dessert."
The five-course menu is still in a rough format, but Hastings says the layout will look something like:
First course: Torchon of foie gras with molasses & pickled peach on toasted brioche
Second course: Razor clam crudo with smoked salt & Hopfenstark mignonette
Third course: Pork tenderloin medallion and guanciale with rhubarb mostarda & grains
Fourth course: Pheasant breast with fried sunchokes, nduja vinaigrette & herb salad
Fifth course (dessert): "Whatever Nisse [Lovendahl] wants to make."
The asking price is set at $65, with no reservations required; the only requirement is that whole parties commit to either the tasting menu or the regular menu. Small parties seated at the bar may be exempted from that policy.
That the ticket price includes five courses and beer pairings is no small thing; it's a fine price point. But consider that this will be running during regular dinner service, which is no quiet affair at Forequarter, and, well, be a little impressed, okay? Hastings will be pouring like a madman.
"Jamming a five-course tasting menu with pairings into the middle of a regular dinner service gave me a bit of pause, but we're going to have full kitchen and bar staff," he says. "Plus Mark will be expoing in the kitchen and I'll be lurking at the pass to pour the corresponding beer as each course comes up."
"It should be fun," he summarizes, in that inexplicably Zen UFC way. But yeah, it should be.
Check out www.madbeerweek.com for more Forequarter updates as they fly off Hasting's fingertips.